Nonprofit Expands Focus on Character Strengths Development Worldwide
CINCINNATI — VIA Institute on Character (VIA®) today announced that Kellie Cummings has been named as its first vice president of marketing. In this role, Cummings will oversee brand strategy, relationships with business partners, and omnichannel marketing communications. She will lead a team of talented marketing and analytics experts who share a passion for elevating human well-being through the use of character strengths.
As an award-winning brand marketing and communications professional who has advised senior executives, Fortune 500 brands, and The U.S. White House, Cummings brings valuable experience to VIA’s team. Her deep love of character strengths took root at the University of Pennsylvania where she received her Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology, a field of science centered on human strengths. This blend of marketing savvy and training in the science of human flourishing makes Cummings the ideal executive to join VIA as it expands its global leadership.
“I am so excited to welcome Kellie Cummings to the VIA family. She has a rare combination of excellence in marketing, communication, and branding while truly understanding how to help people build good lives for themselves and others. Her experiences from the Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology program, leadership training, and practical applications through coaching will have a deep positive impact on VIA and on everyone with whom she interacts,” said VIA CEO Dr. Jeffrey Levy.
Character strengths are the positive parts of personality that are instrumental in helping people flourish, like hope, curiosity and teamwork. Cummings believes that studying these traits—and the science of well-being—have enabled her to lead a more fulfilling life. She hopes that sharing her personal and professional work with strengths will inspire others to apply their strengths to experience more joy and life satisfaction.
“In a world focused on problems and personal shortcomings, character strengths provide an important language for activating what’s best within us. These remarkable personality traits reveal our best qualities—and because they are energizing–character strengths give us powerful levers for reducing adversity and amplifying our well-being. It’s an honor to join the team at VIA and I hope to help more people around the world learn to identify and express what’s best within themselves,” said Cummings.
Across her 25-year career, Cummings has advised executives and organizational teams as a management and communications consultant and lectured in Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Communication program. In 2008, Cummings won the Platinum MarCom award for her communications leadership during the financial crisis and in 2011 she became accredited with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
In 2022, she served as a Fellow with the Project on Positive Leadership through the University of Louisville College of Business, where she created a workshop to help people strengthen their capacity for positive leadership by cultivating values-based relationships. Her program, Anchor RelationshipsTM is so effective that 92% of participants say they are likely or highly likely to recommend it to a friend.
Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and Ethical Corporation, among others. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University in Washington, DC.
Cummings’ top character strengths are love, gratitude and perspective. Discover your unique character strengths by taking the free VIA Survey at viacharacter.org.
About the VIA® Institute on Character
Established as a non-profit organization in 2001, the VIA Institute on Character (VIA) is dedicated to bringing the science of character strengths to the world to help people and communities flourish. VIA creates and validates surveys of character; supports research studying the science of character; and develops practical strengths-based tools for individuals and professionals, such as therapists, managers and educators. The free VIA Character Strengths Survey has been taken over 25 million times by people in 195 countries who want to learn and apply their best qualities to improve their lives. Discover your unique strengths at viacharacter.org.